Thursday, June 30, 2011

Backfill, Basement, and Garage Floor

Backfill around the house - check
Pour Basement concrete - check
Pour Garage Floor concrete - check
Steel Beams and Lumber - no where to be found ???

Across the basement from Front Left or Right Rear

 Garage - across the street you can see our neighbor broke ground today - YAHOO

 Sewer Ejector pit

 Garage from driveway side

 Basement from Driveway side

 Basement from front door

 Basement from Solarium side

 Walkout with drain and vent pipe - I think

 Back of Basement from Garage

 Now that the backfill has been done our backyard looks much bigger then it did

The steal beams were supposed to have arrived, but there was no sign of them anywhere...maybe they keep them hidden somewhere till they go to install them.  Also no sign of the wood and stuff and I know that usually just sits right next to the lot...oh well, framing isn't supposed to start until Friday morning...guessing there is another inspection of some sort before that starts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quiet Week - NOT!!!

So my much better half just got off the phone with our PM.  We thought we would probably have a quiet week, but definitely not the case!!!  Here's what is going on this week:

Today - Backfilling around foundation
Tomorrow - Pouring concrete for garage and I think the basement

Steel beams have arrived and lumber probably by tomorrow.

Framing will start mid-morning on Friday....WAHOO...Framing should take about a week and should be ready for electrician in about 2 weeks.  He asked us to be there when the electrician arrives to go over all the specifics and insure that nothing gets missed.

He also said that he will call on Thursdays or Fridays to give us updates each week and that we can send him an email anytime and he would respond same day or at worst next day.

So much for a quiet week...I should have known better!!!  HW and better keep cracking the whip because we are out of the gate and coming on strong!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Final Change Order

Went down to see the house change from our previous visit other then another inspection sticker added on Friday - couldn't exactly tell what the inspection was for since the handwriting was too sloppy.  While we were there we dropped in to see our sales rep which worked out perfect since he had just gotten back answers on our final change requests.

So I think this is our FINAL Change Order:

Deleted the GE Hybrid Water Heater - Ryan Homes was not comfortable approving it since it is only a 40 gallon capacity and we have so many bathrooms plus the large soaking tub.  We decided to stick with the standard 80 gallon electric water heater for now and keep an eye on the technology and see what happens in the future.

Changed our siding color from Taupe to Georgian Grey
Added the Moen Shower Spa system to the master bath shower
Changed the Kitchen faucet from the Moen Collonade to the Moen Brantford and added a Soap Dispenser
Changed the Bay Window roof from White to Black - NO CHARGE - yahoo

To either side of our stove there are 12" cabinets with drawer on top and shelves below.  We changed these to the Timberlake CFO option which eliminates the drawer which then allows us to add the next option.

Add a cold water rough in to the right of the stove and cut a hole in the granite.  This will accommodate a pot filler which we will have to provide.  Moen does not make a counter top pot filler and Ryan Homes distributor was not able to get the one we wanted, so we will purchase it ourselves.

On the Gourmet Island we are removing the 2 standard 33" cabinets and replacing them with 33" cabinets that have 2 full width pullout drawers - great for storing pots and pans and large appliances(crock pots,etc) and makes them super easy to get to.

We have been bouncing back and forth on the stairs carpet runner...we decided to leave it off and see how it is...can always add it later, but would be a mess to remove if we don't like it.

So I think that is it...nothing left to do except sit back and enjoy the building of our new home!!!

Will talk with our PM on Monday, but sounds like this week will be a pretty boring week.  Will probably just back fill around the foundation and maybe pour the basement since all the below basement grade plumbing appears to have been completed which I think is what the inspection sticker from Friday was for.  While we were there we saw that the lot diagonally across the corner from ours is being prepared for breaking ground this Wednesday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Foundation

The foundation is poured, the molds removed, waterproofing done I think, and under basement plumbing started.

Front of house looking directly at the front door.  Notice the little ledge on the walls to the left and right of the front door...that is part of the reason brick costs more then other sidings...the foundation is wider where the brick is to create the little ledge to hold the weight of the bricks.
 3 car side entry garage
 kitchen area
 back, fireplace, basement windows
 back of sunroom
 looking across back, sunroom nearest, family room, morning room
 waterproofing - anyone know what all this is?
 More Plumbing - what is that round item
 Croquet anyone?  That will lead to the drain at the bottom of our walkout from the basement.
 Garage wall - Anyone know what the notched(red arrows) out section on the wall is.  The other side wall of the garage has the exact same pattern.  Do they run Ibeams across the floor of the garage?
 Wall without the waterproofing is the outside wall of the walkout
 Wall of Solarium and more plumbing

Above I said waterproofing finished(I think) because I am not sure if there is more to it.  I know there will be a french drain around the inside wall and I thought they usually do some sort of stone and drainage pipe along the outside base of the foundation, but not sure if that is done everywhere.  Also not sure what those vertical sections of waterproofing are and why they are only in certain under each of what will be the basement windows.

I still don't know what that flexible tube under the footer is for.  The inside piece is still there and the outside piece is covered in dirt now.

In other news, our sales rep called and said the plans won't get approved with our custom Hybrid water heater because of the number of bathrooms we have.  The capacity is only 40 gallons and code requirements say we must have an 80 gallon capacity for the number of back to the decisions...we can get a standard electric water heater, a high efficiency version, or a gas tankless water heater...anyone have any suggestions?  Anyone already have a tankless water heater...does it work well?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our House has Feet

Since the excavation finished up on Friday we were hopeful that the beginnings of the basement would be done today...we were not disappointed!!!  Couple of questions at end of pictures.

From the Solarium side - Front is to the right
Where the walkout will be
 Front Corner to Back Corner - PMs Office
 Opposite of last Picture
 Across the front
 In basement looking out the front at sunset
 Looking at large main basement area and kitchen will be above that
 3 car garage
 Black Tube???
First - Does anyone know what the black tube is for.  I am guessing it may be used to run the electric from the outside to the inside without having to go directly thru wall...just never saw this before.

Second - The footers look different then other ones I have seen.  Is this just the base of the footer and the real footer will be built up around the curved rebar or will the walls sit right on this base?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Taking Matters into Our Own Hands!!!

As we previously posted we were supposed to break ground on Wednesday.  The excitement was overwhelming and i left work early, swung by and picked my wife up and off we headed to see our big hole.  Neither of us had thought to call our PM or sales rep to make sure the excavation had started and much to our HUGE disappointment we rounded the corner and saw...
Yes...a big pile of stones and 4 stakes with pink streamers :(

Nothing else....the one thing to note is the little white trailer in the back of the picture is our PM's office...he will be right on top of things...HOWEVER, we were supposed to have a big hole and instead found nothing...we headed over to see our sales rep to find out the scoop and discovered that everything was ready to go but they had not yet received the permit...dang those pieces of paper... frustrated as we were, we grabbed a shovel out of the back of the car and started digging....and digging....

and digging....and digging...even made sure we had some Bud Light while we were digging...

and digging and can see we were making a little progress, but not too much...

until the permit arrived late Thursday afternoon and the Big Boys were on the scene Friday and then the Big Dig was in full swing!!!

And finally just around 5pm on Friday, the big boys put their big Tonka Toys away and we had our Big Hole that we have been waiting for...this picture is from the solarium side of the house

and this one is from the back of the house

and this was my attempt(not so good) at taking a panoramic picture of the entire lot...did a much better job when there wasn't a hole.

Soooooo....we have started and if all goes well, 85 days from now we should have a completed Avalon....Bitty and HW you better not look back cause here we come!!!!

Oh...and this pic is for LaLady...we had hoped things would be different, but here is what we found tucked in against the silt fencing...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Siding Colors

The new siding is Variform a Plygem company - same company as the windows.  The number of selections is about the same, but there seems to be less "tans" then the original color pallete.  We selected the Georgian Grey, which is closer to what we would have selected in the beginning if there was anything even close to that.
Here is the siding sample against our brick.  The picture does not do either one of them justice.  The brick is darker then the picture, but the contrast between the two is fairly close.

Our lot does not yet have the stakes marking the home perimeter, but the black silt fencing is all in place so for the first time we got a real good visual of the size of our lot.  Our sales rep also showed us a prelim drawing of our house sitting on the lot which is now hanging on our wife says it is like getting an ultrasound picture of your baby :)

We also got to see that we will have a walk from our front door down to the street instead of to the driveway on the side of the house...that was a pleasant surprise since we had talked about it but sounded like they would do the one to the driveway and we just figured it would be another expense after move in to add the walk down to the street.

We still don't know for sure if we will be breaking ground on Wednesday since it wasn't clear if Ryan Homes has the permit yet.  Our sales rep said that the main office meets on Monday to make all the plans for the week, but sometimes the PM doesn't get the call till Tuesday afternoon if it is a go or not.  We also asked about the 85 day build cycle seeming very fast and he said that working weekends is the norm and is how the build cycle is shortened...weekends are just another workday...not used for catching up or anything like that.  The sooner they finish a house, the sooner they can move on to the next one.  He also said that there is always slippage time built into the schedule.

We also told him that we would most likely be getting our own home inspector.  He welcomed the idea and said that it was not a problem if it gives us piece-of-mind.  He said the inspectors for our town are pretty tough and thorough so he isn't anticipating a problem.  He also said it is extremely rare for them to pass all their own inspections on the first try...there is just so much that goes into bulding a house that there is usually something small that is a plate on a stud to protect the wire running behind it...things like that.  Our sales rep used to be a PM so he is very familiar with how the build process goes...he said he has had some inspectors that once they get used to the builder just drive up, do a cursory inspection, and sign it off as passed.  He said the inspectors for our area are definitely not like that...opposite end of the spectrum from that.  However, I think we are definitely going to get our own inspector...just for piece of mind and takes the pressure off of us to find things we wouldn't even know to look for.

While we were looking at our lot a neighbor was riding his bike by and stopped to talk.  He built a Ryan Homes Highgrove model the first time RH was building in the development.  He loves the house, but wished he could have extended his bedroom over the garage.  I looked and that still isn't available on that model, even with a side entry garage...interesting.  We have always loved the look of his house and thought it might be an Avalon, but couldn't figure out what elevation it we know why.  He said we will LOVE the is his favorite room in the house.

We have about 5 more changes in the works that we will hopefully hear back on this week.  I will save all of those for another post when we finalize everything.  For now, keep your fingers crossed that the dirt starts moving on Wednesday.